At camp, we love to reinforce the teachings of the Bible in a fun, high-energy atmosphere.
Often, we use the parables (Jesus was the master of teaching in parables) to impress the campers in ways that often lead to transformation in their lives through the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 7:24-29 records the parable of the wise and foolish builders. Simply paraphrased, two men build houses. One wisely builds on rock, but the other foolishly builds on sand. When a storm comes, the house on the rock stands firm while the house on the sand is completely destroyed.
As responsible leaders in camping, we must periodically engage in a reflective self-assessment of factors affecting our ministry. To achieve best results, we need to encourage an environment of ongoing dialogue with all stakeholders. This allows for idea gathering and feedback, as well as helping maintain a good record-keeping system that captures key data in areas of usage and maintenance.
There are tools that exist to guide the self-analysis processes. I would like to share one that was introduced at a recent devotional during our conference, using R.O.C.K. as an acronym to assist in the assessment process.
A situational analysis of the relevance and effectiveness of our programs and facilities would start with an assessment of our:
Realities – Consider your human, physical (location, buildings, and equipment), financial resources, activities and experiences. Do not be too modest; there are many thanksgiving opportunities herein. List your characteristics (eg. we are connected to the community).
A process of inward reflection will involve key players within your team.
Opportunities – Cast a wide net for the external assessment. Think about future trends, funding opportunities, demographics, physical environment, events as well as legislation. What feedback are you getting from stakeholders?
Challenges – Camping is not immune to outside events and forces. Evaluate anything that adversely affects your performance and achievement of goals. In many regions today, we need to train our eyes on new legislation that may impede camp and program development.
Keys – What has God placed in your hand? Quite often, when we apply the evaluation tools offered by the business world, we miss our calling and our faith eyes may be blinded. We often will not see the abundance of God’s grace enumerated anywhere, yet we all survive plainly by it.
In the camp context—just like in the call of Moses to be deliverer of Israel—we could be tempted to give excuses or overlook talent and gifting that make our camp setting uniquely different and count in the positive impact in the lives of our users.
This assessment is important in developing recommendations and action plans that would ensure continued efficient use of resources to provide beneficial program outcomes.
The storms will surely come. Our camps need to be set on the ROCK.
Charles Wahome Mwai serves as current Chair of the Board of African Christian Camping/CCI Eastern Africa. He is married to Evelyn, and they have two children, Mwai (12) and Mumbi (8). Charles He is passionate about camping and the unparalleled context it provides for the social, physical, emotional and spiritual growth of young people. Charles has his training in Hospitality with a Diploma in Hotel Management. Charles and Evelyn operate Wendo Retreat & Arboretum, located on the outskirts of Kenya’s rift valley town of Nakuru.